(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
Rusty Blackbirds are making their presence known in north New Jersey during the past week, especially after the big migration push of Friday night, Oct. 14 into 15.
Rusty Blackbirds are reported from Glenhurst Meadows on Oct. 8, Loantaka Brook Reservation and Lord Stirling Park on Oct. 10, and since yesterday, Oct. 15, at Lord Stirling Park, Great Swamp NWR, Glenhurst Meadows, Lincoln Park Gravel Pits, Troy Meadows, etc.
American Pipits are also visiting Morris and Somerset Counties in the past week with sightings from Florham Park Fields, Troy Meadows, Great Swamp NWR, Glenhurst Meadows, Lord Stirling Park and elsewhere.
Melanie Lane Wetlands
Local Morris County birders familiar with the Melanie Lane Wetlands (or Melanie Lane Pond as some prefer), were dismayed this past spring when the access on Rt. 10 was blocked by a chain-link gate due to the sudden closure of the Affinity Fitness business. The Melanie Lane access on the north side is completely obliterated by the continued expansion of the training complex of a professional soccer team.
It was noticed this week that the chain-link gate is no longer attached. Access is available via Rt. 10 again, at least temporarily. Unfortunately, the Woodchuck hole viewing area is completely inundated with and the viewing obstructed by phragmites except for a narrow cut area created by a certain local resident, excellent photographer, contributor to mocosocoBirds image gallery and long-time aficionado of Melanie Lane Wetlands (nice work, Chuck!). An unnamed blog writer may invest in a machete to further expand the viewing space.
Nonetheless, even with limited viewing, the following waterfowl were observed Saturday, Oct. 15: 8 Gadwall, 1 American Black Duck, 2 Northern Shovelers, 4 Northern Pintail, 55 Green-winged Teal as well as a Great Egret and 5 Killdeer. This little overflow of the Whippany River continues to attract wildlife regardless of the encroachment of human development. Whippany and Hanover Township continue to prove they have little respect for open space.
The Friday night migration that was visible Saturday morning was most noticeable with the influx of White-throated Swamp and Savannah Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers (they are everywhere, right now). Red-winged Blackbird and American Robin numbers also increased. Species such as Rusty Balckbird, American Pipit and singles of late occurring warblers were also observed Saturday. An increase in both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets was noticeable as well.
Sharp-eared Jeff Ellerbusch tallied 48 Purple Finches as they flew overhead in mostly single file at Glenhurst Meadows on Saturday. At dawn, Jeff heard a Dunlin flyover calling in the area of the community garden parking lot at Wagner’s Arboretum (considered part of Glenhurst Meadows). As far as is known, this is the first Dunlin recorded at Glenhurst. White-crowned, Vesper, Lincoln’s and the usual number of Song, Swamp and Savannah Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos were observed.
Multiple Red-headed Woodpeckers continue at Glenhurst Meadows and Troy Meadows.
And the following species will be at your feeder sooner or later this year. Thanks to Chuck Hantis for the excellent photos.
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